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Occoquan Local

Ah, ’tis a joy to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day locally

If you’re looking for the luck o’ the Irish, there’s no better place than local. Music, food, entertainment and of course, festive libations, abound in our area. Check out the fun and make some plans. (Potomac Local reminds everyone to please drink responsibly).

3/14 Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 8th Anniversary Gala and After Party (Manassas)

Enjoy a reception, dinner and silent art auction. Black tie optional; open to ages 21 and over. The Gala supports the Hylton Center’s many artistic performances, arts education programs and outreach initiatives, as well as the Hylton Center’s Endowment. 

3/16  St. Patrick’s Wine Dinner at Rangoli (Manassas)

Enjoy a four-course dinner with unlimited paired wines and a specially chosen chef’s menu.

3/16 – Wearing of the Green Celebration at Potomac Point Winery (Stafford)

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style this year with Potomac Point Winery. Wear your most festive green attire to come wine and dine Friday, March 16th. A special Irish bistro menu will be served and the wine will be flowing.  Partake in the annual Leprechaun Toss or sit back and enjoy Friday night music. Wine discounts available. 

3/17 – 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Company’s St. Patrick’s Day Bash & Beer Release (Stafford)

They’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the best way they know how….with craft beer, music and food. Join the party for the release of their Irish Red, as well as live music from Marc Allred and Karen Jonas. Enjoy corned beef sandwiches in addition to the usual bbq menu. All ages welcome, must be 21 to drink. 

3/17 –  Adventure Brewing Company’s St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (Fredericksburg)

The 16th Annual Jeff Fitzpatrick St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts off at noon and includes fire trucks, classic cars, high school marching band, community organizations, Irish dancers, horses, military equipment and local pageant winners. The parade ends at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, where Adventure Brewing will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Festival including local vendors, live music and entertainment, family-friendly activities, food from local food trucks, and of course, plenty of beer. The brewery will be collecting food for the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.

3/17 – History of Cooking: St. Patrick’s Day at Ben Lomond Historic Site (Manassas)

For St. Patrick’s Day, join the PWC Historic Preservation team at Ben Lomond Historic Site and the Pat White Center at Ben Lomond as they make traditional Irish cuisine as it would have been made in the days before electricity and pasteurization.

3/17 – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Sinistral Brewing Company (Manassas)

St. Patrick’s Day at Sinistral Brewing Company means good beer, good music & good times. There will be sing-alongs. There will be bagpipes. There will be Irish dancers, and yes, there will be lots of green.

3/17 – St.Paddy’s Day Party & Steal the Glass at Ornery Beer Co. (Woodbridge)

The Party’s at Ornery Beer Company for St. Patrick’s Day!! Tapping their newest IRISH STOUT at 12pm Noon and visitors can Steal the Glass: First 300 guests keep their special St. Paddy’s Day Pint Glass!!

3/17  St. Patrick’s Day Party at BadWolf Brewing Co. (Manassas – Kao Circle)

Specialty Cask, Irish Dancers, Phat Yummies Food Truck: Phat Yummies Quesadilla Cantina On Wheels & Kilt Contest at 8:30pm – come dressed in your best outfit!!

3/17 Shamrock & Shenanigans at Brew Republic Beirwerks (Woodbridge)

Join the Brew Republic team on Saturday, March 17th, starting at 9am for kegs and eggs in the tap room! They will be serving Irish breakfast (eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, etc.) and we’ll also be serving non-breakfast Irish fair throughout the day.

3/17  St. Paddy’s Day Celebration at Tim’s Rivershore (Dumfries)

Spend the day on the Potomac River enjoying live music, drinks & food specials to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style at Tim’s Rivershore.

3/17  Bar Louie’s Annual St. Pat’s Day Bash (Multiple)

Grab your crew and Unleash Your Leprechaun at Bar Louie this St. Patrick’s Day! Get “Lucked Up” at the best party outside of Ireland with drink specials and live entertainment!  Check out your local Bar Louie for details. Locations:

  • Bar Louie Manassas: 9501 Liberia Ave, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Bar Louie Gainesville: 14081 Promenade Commons St, Gainesville, VA 20155
  • Bar Louie Stonebridge: 15001 Potomac Town Pl Suite 100, Woodbridge, VA 22191

3/17 and 3/18  Prince William Humane Society’s St. Pittie’s Day O’Dopt-a-thon (Dumfries)

Come adopt a loving pet looking for a forever home! Pit mix adoptions will be half price at the Adopt Shop (17983 Dumfries Shopping Plaza, Dumfries, VA) and the Prince William County Animal Shelter. This event is sponsored by the Prince William Humane Society.

Revelations and Ancient Discoveries coming to Manassas

Mark Finley, television personality, radio speaker, author, and international traveler, is headed to Manassas where he will present Revelation’s Ancient Discoveries, a series of fully-illustrated prophetic presentations focusing on the Bible’s last book, Revelation. 

Finley has lectured in approximately 100 countries and written more than 70 books. His presentation style brings Bible prophecy to life with fully-illustrated messages he says are “filled with encouragement for people looking for hope in the 21st century.” 

He believes the book of Revelation provides answers to life’s bigger questions, answers “that satisfy our minds and give hope to our hearts.”

Topics include: 

  • Revelation’s amazing end time predictions
  • The Middle East crisis and Bible prophecy
  • Will Jerusalem’s temple be rebuilt
  • Revelation’s world of tomorrow
  • The mark of the beast and the mysterious number 666
  • Hope for today, tomorrow and forever
 
Charles Haugabrooks of It Is Written Television and Voice of Prophecy, along with other notable musicians, will provide music throughout the series. 

Spanish speaking guests will be provided headphones for simultaneous translation. All graphics will be in both English and Spanish on two separate large screens.

Each evening there will also be separate meetings for children ages four to ten. Children’s meetings will include crafts, Bible stories and “nature nuggets” in a separate room.

During the Revelation’s Ancient Discoveries Series, Ernestine Finley will give health presentations that Finley says, “will help you reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and the killers of the 21st century. Her presentations will help you feel better, live longer and experience a greater quality of life.”

The series is affiliated with Hope Channel television, Three Angels Broadcasting, the Voice of Prophecy Radio and It Is Written Television. 

The Revelation’s Ancient Discoveries series begins Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. and continues through Saturday evening April 28. Meetings are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, with the exception of three Saturday evenings (April 7, 14, 21)

The event will be held at the Best Western Battlefield Inn, 10820 Balls Ford Road, Manassas.
All seats are free, but the best are reserved, Finley says.

 
For a free reserved seat, call 800-467-6443.

Call to Action: Whether you’re into art, wine, jazz or something else, volunteer ops await

Good Morning Prince William – Project Mend A House is gearing up for their Spring Gala and need 25 volunteers to assist before and during the event on Saturday April 25th.
 
The 2018 Art, Wine and All That Jazz Celebrity Awards Gala promises to be fantastic with Dionne Warwick and Jerry Mathers who we of a certain age remember him as that darling “The Beaver” character.  There will be a VIP Reception and Celebrity Meet and Greet before the gala, silent auction and desert reception.  Musicians Marcus Johnson, Caleb Green and Kevin Sasaki as well as artist John Joseph Holohan III will be featured.  Please call Gina at (703) 792-7663 to register for this fun volunteer opportunity.
 
·         Serve our Willing Warriors is having their next volunteer orientation on Wednesday march 28th from 6-7pm at the Retreat in Haymarket.  Come learn about all the super programs and services they provide to the members of the military.  Please email them at: volunteer@willingwarriors.org if you plan to attend. They also are having their next Ambassador training on Wednesday April 18th at 6-7pm. This is the perfect way to enjoy community events and spread the word about all the good things happening at the Retreat.
·         Care Net is having their Run 4 Hope. Walk for Life 5K fun run and 1  Mile walk on Saturday April 14th beginning at 8:30 am at the Harris Pavilion in Manassas. It’s a fun way to start your weekend.  On line registration is just $15 and at the door is $20. Free T-shirt and wristband with registration. Kids 12 and under are free.  Please register at: voice4life.org or email them at:drc@carenetprcs.org for more info.
·         Keep Prince William Beautiful has a fun new program for fitness enthusiasts to take action to be environmental stewards.  This volunteer team is called Prince William Ploggers. Please call Lynda at (571) 285-3772 to get your Plogger team going.
·         Hey Teens – there are still a few volunteer spots available to help at the ICan Bike event during Spring break at Colgan High School. It’s a great way to help new bike riders and have tons of fun during spring break- March 26-30.  Please register to volunteer at: icanbikepwcvolunteer.eventbrite.com. You can call Jennifer or Yukiko at (571) 989-3618 to learn more.
·         The Autism Society of Northern VA is gearing up for the annual walk in the fall and need volunteers to join their planning committee.  Tasks include coordination, outreach, recruitment, promotion, fundraising and logistics management. Please email them at: volunteer@asnv.org to learn more.
·         Manassas Parks, Culture and Recreation is looking for volunteers to serve as instructors or assistants for a basic tech class for seniors. The curriculum includes navigating the internet, online banking, reading emails and attachments as well as basics of Microsoft Word.  Please call Jean at (703) 257-8451 to learn more.
·         CASA Children’s Intervention Services is looking for volunteer advocates to work with children in crisis.  They have an extensive training program to give you all the needed skills.  Please come to their next volunteer information session on March 21st from 6-7pm at 9415 West Street Manassas. Please email Suzanne at: smitchell@casacis.org to learn more.
·         The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry invites you to their 40 days of Giving Campaign- 2018 Lenten Challenge.  Gather your friends and family to pledge either a can a day or a dollar a day to support the many families in need.  This campaign started February 14th and goes through April 1st- Easter Sunday.  Suggested items are all the usual’s you know!  A full list and additional info can be found on their website at: haymarketfoodpantry.org
·         The Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Dale City wants to pack 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on March 10th.  Super fun, family friendly event to help those less fortunate.  You can choose either morning or afternoon shift.  Please visit: www.whatsupwoodbridge.com for the link to register. They also need donations to buy the meal components.  Please call Patti at (703) 200-3077 to learn more.
·          Occoquan Watershed Clean-up is hosted by Rebekah a 13 yr. old Girl Scout on March 10th 10am-12;30 at Lake Ridge Park.  Come support her litter prevention project!  Please email Rebekah to volunteer or for more info at: sue.davejohnson@gmail.com
·         Save the date! April 21st for the 9th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up – 9am-2pm. This extensive project has a whole number of places to start the day. Trash bags, water, gloves and refreshments provided.  Please visit their website at: pwtsc.org to register and get all the specifics for the day. Please email Ed at efdandar@verizon.net to learn more.
·         The ARC Greater Prince William invites you and your family to their 5K Run/Walk/Roll on Saturday April 28th, 8am at Potomac Nationals Stadium. $25 for the first 100 participants, $30 early-bird registration before April 1stand then $40 regular price.  Please visit arcgpw.org for more info and to register today!
·         Mark your calendars for April 18th at Chick-Fil-A in Lake Ridge to find more volunteer opportunities from area agencies.  The event is 9am-10:30am.  Bring your friends for free coffee.
·         The Bull Run Rotary Club invites you to their annual Manassas Runway 10K, 5K or 1 mile run on the Manassas Airport Runway on Sunday April 29that 8am. Please register online at: bishopseventregistrations.com
 
If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Two suspects, two hotels, two robberies equal arrests

From the Prince William police press release:

Armed Robberies *ARRESTS – On March 5, detectives from the Robbery Unit identified two suspects involved in two separate robberies that occurred at the Rimpal Inn and Suites located on Old Centreville Rd on December 5, 2017, and the Holiday Inn located on Balls Ford Rd on December 7, 2017. Following the investigation, detectives obtained multiple arrest warrants of both suspects, identified as Brendon M. PAINE and Robert Jamal JACKSON. On March 8, PAINE was arrested without incident following the execution of a search warrant at his residence in Fairfax. Further investigation determined that the firearm used in the robberies was recovered when JACKSON was arrested on December 13 following a traffic stop for a traffic violation. JACKSON remains incarcerated at the Adult Detention Center and was served with the additional charges.

Arrested on March 8:

    Brendon M. PAINE, 19, of 6515 Terry Dr in Springfield

    Charged with 2 count of robbery and 2 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony

       Robert Jamal JACKSON, 24, of 8529 Piney Point Ct in Manassas

    Charged with 2 count of robbery, 2 count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and 2 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

    Court Date: April 10, 2018 | Bond: Both were held WITHOUT bond

    Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 7 at 12:22AM, officers responded to the Holiday Inn located at 10424 Balls Ford Rd in Manassas (20109) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown man entered the business and approached the front desk. During the encounter, the suspect brandished a handgun and then demanded money. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of money before fleeing the area on foot. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 searched for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

    Armed Robbery [Previously Released] – On December 5 at 11:44PM, officers responded to the Rimpal Inn located at 7399 Old Centreville Rd in Manassas (20111) to investigate a robbery. An employee reported to police that an unknown male wearing a mask jumped over the front counter and brandishing a handgun at the employee. During the encounter, the suspect forced the employee to open the register to obtain money. The suspect then fled the business on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No injuries were reported. A police K-9 responded to search for the suspect who was not located. The investigation continues.

Make local travel easier for the senior in your life

We know what it’s like to live in this area. Between the busyness of everyday living, the demands continuously made of us and the traffic, it’s enough to try the sanity of even the most level-headed among us. So imagine what it’s like for the senior in your life who has to travel locally with you. Not only can they feel your stress, they have their own issues to manage.

We’ve worked with families enough to know that no one wants tempers to flare or plans to be disrupted, especially over something that could have been avoided by implementing some simple strategies. Because we understand how easy it is to get derailed by even the little things, we’ve put together these tips and reminders to help make traveling locally with your senior as smooth and painless as possible. Let’s get started.

One week or more before the trip – Yes, prep starts this early. It begins by being judicious about setting appointments or scheduling errands. Based on the needs of the senior in your care, book appointments and activities in segments that are reasonable. Don’t try to cram multiple appointments in on the same day if you don’t have to. And avoid running from one side of town to another if you can group your errands geographically. If you don’t plan this part wisely, the whole local travel experience can quickly become a tiresome exercise in frustration that rarely ends well.

48 to 12 hours before the trip – This is probably going to be mostly a period of observation. Pay attention to how the senior in your care is feeling emotionally and physically. If they have been having specific challenges close to the scheduled local travel, you’ll want to judge whether or not the plans you’ve made still make sense. Address any issues as soon as possible. Even if all is well, during this period you’ll want to remind your senior about the plans you’ve made together. It’s good to jog the memory as often as needed, and doing so can give the senior in your care something to look forward to.

Four to three hours before the trip – Depending on the needs of the senior in your care, you will need to allow plenty of time for getting ready. Choosing clothing, then bathing, dressing, eating, and discussing plans again, can be time consuming. Decrease stress by allowing enough time to get everything done at a comfortable pace.

Two hours before the trip – This is a good time for the senior in your care to relax a little while you do things like ready yourself and gather necessary items for the excursion. Veteran caregivers keep a physical or mental list of must-have items for the drive. These can include medical equipment, medication, snacks, books, checkbooks, credit cards, phones, extra clothing and sanitary items. Make sure you have enough of everything. You don’t want to run out of necessities like oxygen or blood sugar testing strips before you return home.

One hour before the trip – Remind the senior in your care that you are getting ready to leave. Take care of any last minute toileting or hygiene. Don’t expect to be able to rush out the door and jump into the car. Give yourself plenty of time to address any mobility issues. This is also a good time to reassess your senior’s mood. Some seniors become anxious as it gets closer to leaving the home where they know they have everything they need. Remind them you’ve planned and packed, and review with them what you have on hand. If your senior reminds you of something you’ve overlooked, be grateful they told you before you walked out the door!

In the car – Help the senior in your care into the vehicle. Make them comfortable and assist with the seatbelt, double checking to ensure it is fastened correctly. Play soothing music or enjoy a light conversation. Drive safely. And don’t be surprised if you need to stop prior to reaching your destination. If you’ve planned ahead, you know this is a possibility, and you’ll have plenty of time to take care of those emergency bathroom breaks.

Upon arrival – Arrange everything so that when you help the senior in your care out of the vehicle, you don’t have to leave them standing unassisted while you rush around and gather the items you’ve packed. If this means they have to sit in the car for a few moments while you prepare, that’s fine. Better to have everything organized so you’ll have free hands to help out your fellow traveler.

When you look at this list, you might say, wow. That’s an awful lot of preparation just to run a few errands or make it to an appointment. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re right. Traveling with seniors requires more work and strategy than many younger people are accustomed to. The good news is, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more enjoyable your time spent together becomes. It’s these little local adventures that can mean a lot to the senior in your life. And that makes the effort well worth it.  

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

The best way to keep Prince William students safe: More guns?

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Police searching for Woodbridge man accused of human, sex trafficking

From the Prince William police press release:

Human Trafficking – In October of 2017, officers began to investigate reports of sex trafficking at the Quality Inn located at 1109 Horner Rd in Woodbridge (22191).  The investigation revealed that the accused arranged for a prostitute, a 19-year-old woman, to meet with two males at the above location. Following the investigation, officers obtained multiple arrests warrant for the accused, identified as Maurice Lamont COTTON. Attempts to locate the accused have been unsuccessful. The investigation continues.

Wanted: 

Maurice Lamont COTTON, 36, of the 12800 block of Island House Lp in Woodbridge

Described as a black male, 6’02”, 210lbs, with brown eyes and black hair

Wanted for human trafficking, commercial sex trafficking, and receiving money for procuring a person

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center doctor examines mind-body connection

Emergency Department physician Dr. Anoop Kumar has dedicated his life to helping people who are sick, scared and hurt.   

“I received my MD in 2007 and completed my training in Emergency Medicine in 2011. I like the clinical diversity of Emergency Medicine. I see young, old, female, male, many critically ill, some not so ill, medical, psychiatric, surgical, and social conditions. If one can bear to look, it’s [the Emergency Department] a window into the soul of society,” says Dr. Kumar.

While his goal is to help and heal the men, women, and children who enter through the doors of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Dr. Kumar has always been concerned with more than physical ailments, saying, “The mind-body connection is real. There’s a lot of research pointing to that.”

That connection plays an integral part in his life, and it’s something he’s especially mindful of as he’s treating some of the region’s sickest patients. While being the answer to a patients’ prayers is a tremendous gift, it also carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility. That’s why Dr. Kumar has organized something for his co-workers at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Every month, he leads a meditation session for the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital.

Meditation is something he has had in his life since he was a child. “I grew up with meditation,” explains Dr. Kumar. “To start off meditating as a kid isn’t really meditating, it’s just noticing things around you. Noticing your thoughts, noticing your feelings.”

As a child, Anoop Kumar was surrounded by the teachings of Eastern philosophy. He says he came to recognize a common message woven through philosophy, science and spirituality- a message of well-being. It’s that message that helped inspire him to write his first book, “Michelangelo’s Medicine.”

“When I became a physician and completed my training in Emergency Medicine, I saw that all those years of thinking about health, healing and what it means to be human could lend an important context to healthcare,” he explains. “One of the main points I make in the book is the human being is not only a human body. For example, when we learn anatomy, we learn about organs. But organs alone don’t make a human being. We have to include other elements, like emotion, thought, intuition, desire and consciousness.”

Dr. Kumar isn’t a stranger to sharing his knowledge when it comes to the art of meditation. It was just about two years ago when he began corresponding with Deepak Chopra, known worldwide as a pioneer in mind-body medicine. “The statements he made about the mind several decades ago were often ridiculed, but today some of those same principles are taught in top institutions around the world. Interestingly, the period over which his career developed is the same period over which I was privately thinking about the same things.”

Since that time, Dr. Kumar has spoken at three of Chopra’s events. He says it’s been an invaluable experience, and while he’s gleaned a number of lessons from these events, one of the most important is simple: “I’ve learned to keep putting my ideas out there. There are no perfect ideas. If the ideas are good, they become refined and therefore more useful in the heat of the spotlight.”

Dr. Kumar’s latest idea is coming in the shape of a book on anxiety and how poorly managed anxiety and stress contributes to disease. In an effort to keep his healthcare colleagues from heading down that path, Dr. Kumar says he’ll continue offering his month meditation, which he hopes offers not only relief but empowerment to members of the team.

“There’s always a lot more to know, there’s always a lot more to experience,” he says. “And sometimes as we branch out and experience more things, the things that we already know get seen in a new context and new light and changes how we experience our lives.”

If you’re looking for a change or an employer who supports you, head over to sentaracareers.com. We’re looking for qualified candidates to join the team.

 

 

At FreshySites, marketing is customer service

The fifth part of our Ethos at FreshySites, Service as Marketing, is the natural conclusion to every other aspect of our Ethos – both what we’ve covered so far and what’s to come.
 
An integral part of any company’s marketing efforts is their brand – that central identity, in conjunction with their mission, that defines their operations and differentiates them from every other industry competitor.
 
For us, that central aspect of our identity – and therefore our marketing efforts – is our customer service. We’ve said it before, but our best-in-industry customer service and support defines FreshySites and how we operate on a day-to-day level.
 
Each day, the members of our team dedicate themselves to serving the customer, looking for any way to help them and show them their value, including  asking for more and being ego free.This mindset, while pushing FS forward, also allows our team to grow from within in our members’ pushing themselves to be the best they can be each day.
 
Because it guides and defines our daily processes, our customer service is the central tenet of our identity, and is therefore, the core of how we market ourselves.
 
We want to impress upon potential clients – through social media, TV spots, write-ups and more – that in choosing FS, you’re not just choosing a website design/development company.
 
You’re choosing a whole team of dedicated partners – committed to helping you build and grow your organization or company’s online presence – that will be with you every step of the way, from the day you submit a contact form or call our office to well after your website is live.
 
Our success can be attributed to a lot of things, but predominantly to our team’s attention to each member of our client family – whether that means turning around proposals in the same day, stopping what we’re doing to answer a client’s support ticket or going the extra mile to include every feature a client wants on their website.
 
FreshySites is a regionally focused company with national reach and operations, where customer service/support is at the heart of who we are and what we do.
 
FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!

 

Prince William police chief to answer resident questions, discuss concerns

From the Prince William police press release:

Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will host a “Conversation with the Chief” on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Potomac View Elementary School located at 14601 Lamar Road in Woodbridge beginning at 7:00 PM. We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community and the surrounding area to come out, meet the Chief, and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from residents. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to get to know their Police Department and ask questions directly to the Chief and other police staff. Members from the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit and recruiters will also be on hand to answer questions and provide useful information regarding safety tips, neighborhood watches, and recruitment. The Chief plans to hold additional community engagement conversations at other locations across Prince William County this year. We look forward to seeing you and having a productive discussion.

Don’t miss the Lake Ridge Chorale ‘Night’ Concert

Come out to see the stars! Lake Ridge Chorale presents “Night,” an evening of celestial choral selections featuring a large screen presentation of stunning astrophotography.

Friday, March 16th, 8:00 PM at Old Bridge United Methodist Church, 3966 Old Bridge Rd., Woodbridge, VA.

Your tax deductible donations support these local charities: ACTS, HUGS, Kara Foundation. For more information, visit our website at LakeRidgeChorale.org or call 703-878-1889.

Virginia may issue ‘Ashanti Alerts’ for missing adults

RICHMOND – The abduction and slaying of a 19-year-old Norfolk woman prompted General Assembly approval of legislation to create an Amber Alert-like system for “critically missing” adults.

The “Ashanti Alert” called for in HB 260, sponsored by Del. Jerrauld Jones, D-Norfolk, was approved by the Senate on Thursday and now awaits the signature of Gov. Ralph Northam to become law.

Ashanti Billie was abducted in 2017 from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, where she worked at a sandwich shop, and later found dead in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because Billie was an adult, she didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

Once Ashanti went missing, we became more aware of other situations where something like this had happened but there was no mechanism in place,” said Jones, who represents the 89th House District, where Billie lived. “This is a public safety issue, not a partisan issue.”

Eric Brian Brown, described by authorities as a retired Navy veteran who worked at the base with Billie, has been charged with kidnapping in Virginia and in connection with her death in the Charlotte area.

Members of Billie’s family connected with Jones through their friend Kimberly Wimbish, who had worked with the delegate on his election campaign last year. They asked him to draft a bill to help those who currently don’t qualify for missing persons alerts.

Wimbish, who initially used Facebook to publicize the young woman’s disappearance, said the case raised awareness about missing adults, especially in the Norfolk area where people had connections to Billie.

“Everyone said she would give them her last. That she was always helpful and friendly,” said Wimbish, who serves as the family’s spokesperson. “We have to know and believe her kindness was taken for granted.”

Jones said the bill gives Virginia State Police the power to set criteria for the “critically missing adult alert.”

Currently, Virginia has three alerts for missing persons:

  • Amber Alerts and Endangered Missing Child Media Alerts, for missing persons under age 18.
  • Senior Alerts, sometimes called Silver Alerts, for persons 60 or older.

That leaves a gap for adults between 18 and 60 years old.

If approved by the governor, the Ashanti Alerts will be modeled on the Amber Alerts. An Amber Alert includes issuing emergency messages over public broadcasting networks, displaying electronic messages on highway signs and sending texts to all cellphones within range of the cellular carrier towers in the affected area.

Amber Alerts are also spread voluntarily by other state agencies, the news media and nonprofit organizations. For example, a program called A Child Is Missing can make 1,000 telephone calls with a recorded alert within a minute, according to Virginia’s Amber Alert Plan.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that Amber Alert systems nationwide have helped in the recovery of more than 540 children.

Last year, the General Assembly declared April 29 as “Missing Persons Day” to recognize the 600 Virginians missing at that time, and their families. Advocates are getting ready for the second annual Virginia Missing Persons Day.

Call to Action: Can you help a local nonprofit serve our community?

Good Morning Prince William  
 
Friends of the Square need your help on Saturday March 10th, 9am-12 noon for the big clean up event at the waterway near Bull Run Shopping Center and Costco Manassas.  Bring your energy and spirit and they’ll provide litter bags, litter grabbers and gloves. Please wear boots. This is a great way to kick off daylight saving weekend! Please call (571) 379-8213 for more info.
 
We also have these nonprofit needs in the community:

·         Keep Prince William Beautiful has a fun new program for fitness enthusiasts to take action to be environmental stewards.  This volunteer team is called Prince William Ploggers. Please call Lynda at (571) 285-3772 to get your Plogger team going.

·         Hey Teens – there are still a few volunteer spots available to help at the ICan Bike event during Spring break at Colgan High School. It’s a great way to help new bike riders and have tons of fun during spring break- March 26-30.  Please register to volunteer at: icanbikepwcvolunteer.eventbrite.com. You can call Jennifer or Yukiko at (571) 989-3618 to learn more.

·         The Autism Society of Northern VA is gearing up for the annual walk in the fall and need volunteers to join their planning committee.  Tasks include coordination, outreach, recruitment, promotion, fundraising and logistics management. Please email them at: volunteer@asnv.org to learn more.

·         Manassas Parks, Culture and Recreation is looking for volunteers to serve as instructors or assistants for a basic tech class for seniors. The curriculum includes navigating the internet, online banking, reading emails and attachments as well as basics of Microsoft Word.  Please call Jean at (703) 257-8451 to learn more.

·         CASA Children’s Intervention Services is looking for volunteer advocates to work with children in crisis.  They have an extensive training program to give you all the needed skills.  Please come to their next volunteer information session on March 21st from 6-7pm at 9415 West Street Manassas. Please email Suzanne at: smitchell@casacis.org to learn more.

·         The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry invites you to their 40 days of Giving Campaign- 2018 Lenten Challenge.  Gather your friends and family to pledge either a can a day or a dollar a day to support the many families in need.  This campaign started February 14th and goes through April 1st– Easter Sunday.  Suggested items are all the usual’s you know!  A full list and additional info can be found on their website at: haymarketfoodpantry.org

·         The Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Dale City wants to pack 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on March 10th.  Super fun, family friendly event to help those less fortunate.  You can choose either morning or afternoon shift.  Please visit: www.whatsupwoodbridge.com for the link to register. They also need donations to buy the meal components.  Please call Patti at (703) 200-3077 to learn more.

·          Occoquan Watershed Clean-up is hosted by Rebekah a 13 yr. old Girl Scout on March 10th 10am-12;30 at Lake Ridge Park.  Come support her litter prevention project!  Please email Rebekah to volunteer or for more info at: sue.davejohnson@gmail.com

·         Save the date! April 21st for the 9th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up 9am-2pm. This extensive project has a whole number of places to start the day. Trash bags, water, gloves and refreshments provided.  Please visit their website at: pwtsc.org to register and get all the specifics for the day. Please email Ed at efdandar@verizon.net to learn more.

·         The ARC Greater Prince William invites you and your family to their 5K Run/Walk/Roll on Saturday April 28th, 8am at Potomac Nationals Stadium. $25 for the first 100 participants, $30 early-bird registration before April 1stand then $40 regular price.  Please visit arcgpw.org for more info and to register today!

·         Mark your calendars for April 18th at Chick-Fil-A in Lake Ridge to find more volunteer opportunities from area agencies.  The event is 9am-10:30am.  Bring your friends for free coffee.

·         The Bull Run Rotary Club invites you to their annual Manassas Runway 10K, 5K or 1 mile run on the Manassas Airport Runway on Sunday April 29that 8am. Please register online at: bishopseventregistrations.com

 If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group projects and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

24-year old veteran, business owner tells “what it takes to make it to the top when you started at the bottom”

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The region is getting a new 911 that, for the first time, will know exactly where you are

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Four more 15-minute activities to do with the senior in your life

In our last article, we talked about four activities you can enjoy with the senior in your life to increase quality of life. We started off with conversation, sketching, reciting and singing. Here are four more ideas to try.

Stretching – If you have been caring for a senior for a while, chances are you know a little about their physical strengths and challenges. Put this knowledge to good use. Lead a little stretching session. You might be able to do whole body stretches (reach high up over the head, point palms to ceiling and gently wiggle the fingers) or focus on a particular body part, like the foot. Point the toes, flex the ankle, whatever feels good. Be sure to go slowly and ask your senior how each movement feels. The point is to loosen the muscles and to engage in conversation about sensations. Note, it is recommended you ask a physical therapist or doctor what kind of movements they would recommend before you engage in this activity.

Gift making – Giving makes most people feel good, and giving handmade gifts can feel even better. Help the senior in your life enjoy both. Put together some simple gifts for birthdays, holidays or just because. You might help your senior arrange items in a gift basket, wrap it and put a big bow on it. Or you could try creating a centerpiece using a candle, silk flowers and a plate. For some people, just wrapping a gift and tying a nice ribbon is enough. No matter what you choose, this activity is good for maintaining motor skills, and it can stimulate different kinds of conversation.

Cooking – For many seniors, cooking is a challenge. Manipulating utensils can be painful or awkward. Forgetting how to prepare food or operate the oven is often a problem, too. Let the senior in your life be part of the process by simplifying it. For example, take all the ingredients out for a sandwich and have your senior assemble it. Prepping for a party? Maybe your senior can dip strawberries in chocolate and set them up to dry. Maybe chopping carrots is too much, but peeling is fine. Whatever the case, safely involve your senior in short stints in the kitchen to increase their sense of independence as they use smaller muscle groups.  

Sensory games – Humans are grounded through the senses, and what we experience through them leaves a lasting impression. There are all sorts of ways you can use the senses to evoke memories, feelings and expression. Play an old album and talk about the time period the music reminds your senior of. Lightly spray some of their favorite perfume or cologne in the air and ask them what they like or remember about the smell. If your senior is an animal lover, arrange a short visit with a gentle dog, cat or therapy animal and encourage petting. Offer different foods for the senior in your care to sample. Listen to and watch reactions closely. All these short activities involving the senses can encourage word recall, stimulate conversation and provide enjoyment.

As we noted in our previous article, not all activities will be appropriate for all people. Consider what you know about the senior in your life and offer alternatives based on that. The more activities you do together, the more you will learn about their likes and dislikes and you will be able to offer more options. You’ll see that short bursts of activity can go a long way towards improving quality of life.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

If bill passes, Virginia jails and prisons must provide inmates with free feminine hygiene products

RICHMOND – The Senate joined the House Tuesday in unanimously approving a bill that requires Virginia jails and prisons to provide inmates with free feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons.

If Gov. Ralph Northam signs it, House Bill 83 would take effect in July.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, also received unanimous approval in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.

Other legislation this session to remove the sales tax on feminine hygiene products, along with bills for exemptions during the state’s three day tax-free period in August and year-round failed to advance past House committees.

“It’s appalling that this was ever even an issue,” said Katrina Reid, a supporter of HB 83.

Currently, the Virginia Department of Corrections and some local and regional jails offer pads to inmates for free; however, tampons must be purchased. The cost to prisons will be included in the department’s budget and was estimated at $33,769. The cost has yet to be determined for jails.

The State Board of Corrections will be responsible for creating the feminine hygiene policy in the correctional facilities. While some states, such as Colorado, offer unlimited menstrual supplies, others, such as Arizona, have a maximum number of free pads and tampons allowed per month. The board has not yet specified a preference.

 

VDOT “ramping” up work near Courthouse Road. Expect detours.

Brought to us by VDOT:

FREDERICKSBURG –  The Virginia Department of Transportation will close the Interstate 95 southbound on-ramp from Courthouse Road in Stafford County next week to allow crews to finish work on the temporary ramp.

Beginning the evening of Monday, March 5, crews will close the existing on-ramp from Courthouse Road to I-95 southbound to begin milling and paving the temporary ramp.

The existing on-ramp will close overnight Monday, March 5 through Thursday, March 8 from 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. the following morning. Traffic will then be shifted onto the new, temporary ramp starting early Friday, March 9. The on-ramp is the only ramp affected with this work. Traffic can still exit to Courthouse Road from I-95 southbound on these evenings.

The on-ramp will remain open during the day. There will be no impacts to traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Local traffic should use the most convenient alternate route to access I-95 southbound, including Route 1 to Exit 143/Garrisonville or Exit 136/Centreport Parkway. Detour signs will be placed along the interstate to guide drivers not familiar with the area.

The new ramp is parallel to the existing on-ramp. The temporary on-ramp is steeper than the existing one. Crews have extended the acceleration lane on I-95 southbound by approximately 600 feet to give drivers a longer distance to merge at interstate speeds.

Shifting traffic slightly onto the temporary ramp will provide space for crews to build bridge abutments as part of the new diverging diamond interchange. When construction is finished in 2020, traffic will enter and exit the interstate from new ramps branching off the relocated Courthouse Road.

Message boards and extra signage will be posted this week to warn motorists about the upcoming ramp closures and traffic shift.

Project Background

When the $185.3 million widening and interchange project is complete, Courthouse Road will intersect with Route 1 at Hospital Center Boulevard.

In summer 2020, Exit 140 will open with new bridges and ramps in a diverging diamond interchange (DDI). In a diverging diamond interchange, vehicles are briefly shifted to the opposite side of the road, controlled by traffic signals. The DDI improves safety by reducing the number of spots where vehicles could collide, and can handle more left-turn movements per hour, twice the capacity of a conventional interchange.

Additional project details are available online at www.virginiadot.org/exit140.

511Virginia

Motorists can find real-time information on lane closures, work zones, traffic and other incidents on 511Virginia.

Download the free mobile 511Virginia app for Apple and Android devices to stay connected, or visit www.511Virginia.org. Motorists also can reach 511Virginia by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.

Expect traffic shifts on Route 1

Here’s what the VDOT press release has to say:

WOODBRIDGE – Route 1 traffic will be shifting onto new pavement Friday, March 2 and then Monday, March 5, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The northbound lanes between Mount Pleasant Drive and Dawson Beach Road will shift Friday beginning at 10 a.m.; the southbound lanes between Occoquan Road and Marys Way will shift Monday beginning at 10 a.m. Both shifts are weather permitting.

Drivers should expect delays and are asked to use caution when driving through the work zones.

The work is part of the Route 1 widening project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2019.

Follow VDOT Northern Virginia on Twitter: @vadotnova

A new 4th lane on I-95 in Prince William under review could benefit drivers and lead to compensation for Express Lanes operator

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